Updated: Sep 20, 2022
At the beginning of the innovation process, in the phases of understanding and observing, the analysis and understanding of the problem is very important. Delegating these tasks to others makes no sense, because we will never find out and learn anything about the market relevant to us on our own. That is why it is so enormously important to do intensive research on a relevant topic. Books, professional articles, contributions in blogs and the daily news are important sources for our information gathering. Excellent universities and research institutes, associations and NGOs exist all over the world, researching relevant topics and sharing these topics at conferences, trade fairs and even spontaneous inquiries. Knowledge can be shared worldwide through digital applications and information can be exchanged in real time. We want to find and process the information relevant to our project.
I don't have time to read all that.
Again, we catch ourselves on a principle we believe in and are firmly convinced of. Again, we want to break down premature judgments. We clear our minds for new thinking. We want to integrate reading into our daily lives and make it part of our work. To do this, we don't have to go home at 5 p.m. and start reading reference books. Reading, that is, experiencing and classifying information, is a crucial part of our entire project.
Most articles and posts are easily converted into PDF files where we can digitally annotate our comments. Cloud-based filing facilities create our large archive. From each article, book, and post, we write down what we consider to be the most important points and thoughts in a large overview to be mounted on the wall in our creative space.
The exchange and the feedback in the team, to the contents read by us is very relevant here. The team divides itself into topics, who, where, which contents researches and discusses afterwards the acquired realizations. For a team meeting for the final summary of the researched content on a topic area, we note a date in our team calendar. Between the start and the final meeting, we meet to discuss content that has already been researched.
In principle, the research process never ends. Once a product is established in the market, we continue to research and analyze, because due to the globalized and digitalized environment described above, conditions change daily, new trends emerge and we want to continuously offer innovative solutions. In addition to reading, listening to podcasts or audio books is very pleasant, for example, to experience content on the train during a long journey. We make our summaries from what we have heard. Webinars and online training courses also help us to absorb information and learn relevant news about a problem. This is where the advantages of digitization become apparent. Through the use of mobile devices, which is advantageous for us, we learn new content anywhere in the world and are not limited to an office space as a workplace.
These research activities, like any other process stage in the creation of an innovation, challenge us as humans not only mentally but also physically. Fatigue that sets in after long periods of reading can be reduced via well-placed breaks and getting up and going outside. This is why the clear structure of the daily routine is so important for us. Our digital calendar has many reminders for routines and appointments that need to be set. This allows us, coordinated within the team, to determine who, when and how and who works on what content. In particular, breaks, shared meals and time for team meetings are important building blocks in our weekly calendar from Monday to Sunday. An innovation process is not right according to the day of the week. Creativity cannot be controlled from 7:00 in the morning until 16:00 in the afternoon. Taking into account and respecting all personal, family or, for example, religious aspects and beliefs, we agree within the team on who works, when and how. Our goals point the way to the creation of an innovative product, not the day of the week or the time of day. Good, creative ideas are not only born in the morning in a rented co-working space but also over dinner together. Free, unrestricted work requires a high degree of self-discipline and looking out for each other. Giving and receiving feedback again plays a major role here.